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Meteosat Third Generation takes major step towards its first launch

on 18 January 2022

After many technical and programmatic challenges, the first satellite of the next generation of the Meteosat family has taken a major step towards its first flight, currently scheduled for launch in autumn 2022.

Following on from the success of the first and second generation of Meteosat satellites, the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) will soon take over the reins to ensure the continuity of data for weather forecasting for the next two decades.

The new generation of weather satellites will offer a significant enhancement of the current imager capabilities provided by the Meteosat Second Generation, a real-time lightning imaging and an all-new infrared sounding capability for early detection of severe storms.

Following the completion of the first flight model of the Flexible Combined Imager (FCI) in July of this year, the instrument has now been successfully mounted onto the protoflight platform and the combined assembly is now being prepared for the Satellite Thermal Vacuum campaign, which is scheduled to start in early October in Cannes, France.

This test will demonstrate the correct functioning of the satellite in the simulated thermal conditions seen in flight.

Prior to this, the Flexible Combined Imager, developed by Thales Alenia Space, had undertaken an extensive system and environmental test campaign, which concluded with the complex ‘Optical Vacuum’ performance testing which measured all the critical optical and radiometric characteristics of the instrument. The testing confirmed the expected state-of-the-art performance of the instrument.

More details here.

Image credit: Thales Alenia Space